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A Plea for a New Student Capacity Law (Kapazitätsrecht) in Germany

9 May 2007

Lectures and theses presented at the Heidelberg symposia on the Student Capacity Law, 25/26 November  2005 and 14/15 July 2006. Edited by Peter Hommelhoff and Wilfried Müller.

So far in Germany, the maximum capacity of student enrolment for specific study programmes has been “formula-based,” i.e. calculated and determined as a function of certain general parameters relating to institutional resources defined and laid down in “capacity regulations.”  This law has been a burden for universities for more than 30 years. The switch to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and the introduction of credit points has made it possible to develop a completely new model. For this reason, the Universities of Heidelberg and Bremen held two symposia in November 2005 and July 2006 to study this law, notably its constitutional basis.

Representatives from the field of economics, from government ministries, university administrations, the  German Science Council and the German Rectors’ Conference examined the alternatives presently under discussion and drew up concrete proposals. The results formed the basis for the recommendation made by the Senate of the German Rector’s Conference on 10 October 2006. 

This recommendation proposes establishing student-intake capacities on the basis of a contract between the universities and the Federal states in which they are located, which would then be confirmed by the relevant parliament to ensure its legal status. To realise higher quality standards, the universities would have to draw on additional resources (e.g. student fees) without this having any impact on intake capacity.

Peter Hommelhoff:
b. 1942, Rector of the University of Heidelberg since 2002

Wilfried Müller:
b. 1945, Rector of the University of Bremen since 2002

Inquiries to the publisher requested to
Lisa Laux
Mohr Siebeck Werbung
Wilhelmstr. 18
D-72074 Tübingen
phone: 07071/92353, fax: 51104

General inquiries from journalists should be addressed to
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Public Information Officer
University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 542317

Irene Thewalt
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 542317
Editor: Email
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